Virginia Q4, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 285,486 employers, up 0.9% from 282,940
  • 3,977,024 employees, up 1.2% from 3,929,793
  • $1,204 average weekly wage, up 3.4% from $1,164
  • The average weekly wage is 1.6% above the national average
  • The cost of living is 0.7% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 2,546, which is an increase of 0.9%. The number of employees in Virginia increased by 47,230, an increase of 1.2%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $40, an increase of 3.4%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 2,406 or 0.9%. Growth in private businesses in Virginia grew slower than the national average of 2.5%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 38,211 or 1.2%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Virginia was slower than the national average of 1.2%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $44 or 3.8%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Virginia grew slower than the national average of 3.8%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Healthcare with 16.8% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 17.9%. Professional services (15.2%), which increased by 0.2% and Other services (10.7%), which decreased by 19.4%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Healthcare7,26417.9%
Information2685.9%
Real estate and rental3593.5%
Transport and warehousing1382.5%
Educational services852.4%
Company management411.8%
Arts and entertainment441.4%
Accommodation and food services2401.4%
Utilities41.1%
Finance and insurance920.8%
Manufacturing510.7%
Waste services260.2%
Professional services790.2%
Agriculture and forestry10.1%
Construction-196-0.9%
Retail trade-318-1.2%
Wholesale trade-268-2.3%
Mining and oil extraction-13-4.1%
Other services-7,374-19.4%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 11.4% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 2.2% in the last year. Professional services (11.0%), increased by 1.6% and Retail trade (10.4%), decreased by 1.0%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Company management4,5295.9%
Transport and warehousing6,1304.9%
Arts and entertainment2,0323.9%
Information1,8472.8%
Finance and insurance3,1912.3%
Healthcare9,5992.2%
Real estate and rental9381.7%
Construction3,3461.7%
Professional services6,7631.6%
Waste services3,5541.4%
Mining and oil extraction761.3%
Utilities1321.2%
Educational services4300.7%
Manufacturing7120.3%
Wholesale trade590.0%
Accommodation and food services-492-0.1%
Retail trade-4,279-1.0%
Agriculture and forestry-282-2.2%
Other services-7,041-4.8%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $2,255per week compared with the state average of $1,203. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $49 or 2.2%. Professional services ($2,248), rose by $79 or 3.6% and Information ($2,087) increased by $184 or 9.7% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Information$1849.7%
Arts and entertainment$456.7%
Other services$556.4%
Real estate and rental$655.6%
Accommodation and food services$194.9%
Waste services$384.4%
Retail trade$223.8%
Finance and insurance$673.7%
Professional services$793.6%
Construction$423.4%
Wholesale trade$482.9%
Agriculture and forestry$182.4%
Company management$492.2%
Healthcare$232.2%
Educational services$161.9%
Manufacturing$171.4%
Transport and warehousing$10.1%
Utilities$-23-1.1%
Mining and oil extraction$-34-2.3%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Virginia. the industry with the most businesses is Services for the elderly and disabled with 9.3% of the businesses in the state (with 26,604 employing 32,117 workers). The Services for the elderly and disabled industry had 6,083 more businesses, an increase of 29.6% in the last year. Computer systems design and related services (5.3% of businesses) had 93 fewer businesses, a decline of 0.6% and Restaurants and other eating places (5.2% of businesses) added 221 businesses, an increase of 1.5% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Apiculture4100.0%
Home health care services78868.0%
Other nonferrous metal production150.0%
Abrasive product manufacturing350.0%
Motion picture and video distribution250.0%
Tobacco manufacturing743.8%
Asphalt paving and roofing materials mfg.741.2%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled6,08329.6%
Home health care services78868.0%
Restaurants and other eating places2211.5%
Real estate property managers21510.0%
Temporary help services1998.3%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers1404.3%
Software publishers13717.9%


Employees by Industry

Computer systems design and related services (5.3% of employees) had 93 fewer employees, a decline of 0.6% and Restaurants and other eating places (5.2% ofemployees) added 221 employees, an increase of 1.5% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Pension funds113366.7%
Local messengers and local delivery3,908226.3%
Asphalt paving and roofing materials mfg.553146.4%
Automobile and light truck manufacturing9133.3%
Securities and commodity exchanges5580.1%
Spectator sports96577.5%
Commodity contracts dealing3360.7%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Management of companies and enterprises4,5295.9%
Local messengers and local delivery3,908226.3%
Services for the elderly and disabled3,48312.2%
Data processing hosting and related services2,84325.9%
Temporary help services2,8334.2%
Couriers and express delivery services2,42916.0%
General medical and surgical hospitals2,1582.2%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Motion picture and video distribution, paying $43,858 compared with the state average of $1,203. Employees in the Motion picture and video distribution industry were paid $0 more per week, an increase of 0.0% in the last year. Trusts estates and agency accounts ($9,463) and Other depository credit intermediation ($6,386) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Trusts estates and agency accounts ($9,463 per week) were paid $5,475 more per week, an increase of 137.3% and Other depository credit intermediation ($6,386 per week) were paid $2,471 more per week, an increase of 63.1% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Promoters with facilities$1,131183.0%
Trusts estates and agency accounts$5,475137.3%
Other depository credit intermediation$2,47163.1%
Other performing arts companies$46162.7%
Miscellaneous intermediation$1,11644.6%
Tobacco farming$28837.8%
Office supplies except paper manufacturing$20435.1%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Trusts estates and agency accounts$5,475137.3%
Other depository credit intermediation$2,47163.1%
Promoters with facilities$1,131183.0%
Miscellaneous intermediation$1,11644.6%
Data processing hosting and related services$69530.2%
Other financial vehicles$61815.8%
Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers$49227.9%


Company Size

Virginia Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Virginia by far. 65.3% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 265,303 small businesses in the state represent 95.8% of all private businesses. The national average is 91.2%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Virginia added 9,645 businesses in the last year, an increase of 3.6% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 9,546 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 3.7% as compared to the national average of 3.1%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. These mid-sized businesses added 95 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 0.9% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 4 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.0% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Virginia Employees by Business Size

Virginia added 122,141 employees in the last year, an increase of 4.0% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 26,943 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 11.3% as compared to the national average of 4.2%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. Mid-sized businesses added 50,176 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 4.1% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 45,022 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 10.9% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Virginia Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Virginia (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 8.5% more than the national average ($1,098 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Virginia (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 5.6% workers below the national average ($1,811 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $125 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.3% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $18 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 0.5% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $129 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 3.8% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.

Top Industries for Business and Employment

The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of businesses:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Businesses
Industry# Businesses% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled26,60429.6%
Computer systems design and related services15,140-0.6%
Restaurants and other eating places14,7521.5%
Private households13,193-36.0%
Management consulting services7,4611.7%
Residential building construction5,285-1.7%
Offices of physicians5,0641.4%
Offices of lawyers3,722-1.6%
Accounting and bookkeeping services3,5720.7%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers3,3604.3%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of employees:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Employees
Industry# Employees% Change
Restaurants and other eating places281,372-0.3%
Computer systems design and related services169,1240.6%
General medical and surgical hospitals100,6912.2%
Management of companies and enterprises81,3255.9%
Offices of physicians73,9161.1%
Management consulting services70,8942.5%
Temporary help services70,8274.2%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores67,4070.1%
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters54,704-1.4%
Engineering services47,0090.8%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by highest wages:

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Motion picture and video distribution$43,8580.0%
Trusts estates and agency accounts$9,463137.3%
Other depository credit intermediation$6,38663.1%
Portfolio management$5,6141.1%
Spectator sports$4,953-36.2%
Other financial vehicles$4,53715.8%
Investment banking and securities dealing$4,0635.0%
Miscellaneous intermediation$3,61644.6%
Securities brokerage$3,5975.0%
Audio and video equipment manufacturing$3,58015.4%




Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.